Friday, May 08, 2009

Star Trek and Religion

When I was in Halifax we did a study series on heaven. While we looked at the Christian perspective, we invited a Jewish rabbi and a Muslim community leader to speak to us as well. And I got the university chaplain, a devout Star Trek fan, to spend one evening offering his perspective on eternal themes in this pop culture classic. He cheerfully admitted that this would make Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, spin in his grave because he was a humanist who imagined cultures which had moved beyond religion. Instead those who carried on the Star Trek franchise kept inserting spiritual and religious themes, including eternity.

The latest Star Trek movie will be in theatres this weekend and devotees will be lined up to get in early, and probably often. While watching the reruns of the first Star Trek television series was almost necessary for graduation when we were going to university during the 70's, I was never that big a fan. The early reviews for this movie prequel are positive, so maybe we will go to see it and look for the religious allusions.

Are any of you Trekkies (c'mon, admit it)? Have you seen spiritual themes in previous TV series and movies?


Laurie said...

I am a Trekkie. TNG(The Next Generation)had a number of shows dealing with peoples faith. I always liked the idea that humans had finally moved beyond religion. The movie new is great!

Anonymous said...

Sorry not a Trekkie, but I did get involved with the StarGate series when my kids were into that and there were several episodes that dealt with futuristic cultures with archaic religious practices (by Earth standards). There were others were the alien culture had moved beyond religion. Sort of an interesting comparison.

David Mundy said...

Love it or hate it, past, present or future, whatever the galaxy, religion just doesn't go away.